Wards Corner updates

September 11, 2014

The following are some quick updates from the Wards Corner Task Force meeting held on September 11, 2014 at the Fitness and Wellness Center.

Utilities:

The new mast arm poles and traffic light signals at W. Little Creek Rd and Armfield Ave will be installed by mid – late October.

The new mast arm poles and traffic light signals at E. Little Creek Rd and the new Harris Teeter shopping center will also be installed by mid – late October.

Wards Corner Business Association:

A Wards Corner Business Association has been re-started thanks to the work and dedication of Elyse Kalfus.  The first meeting was held on August 19th and 14 of the businesses in Wards Corner were represented.  Top priorities of crime and trash were mentioned.

A cleanup has been arranged with the Norfolk Sheriff’s department and the Business Association is in touch with VDOT on cleaning up their portions of Wards Corner as well.

Norfolk Southern has also been contacted and has agreed to do a cleanup of their property in Wards Corner.

Kroger / Workforce Development Center property:

Everyone was reminded that the City has an option to purchase this property that was built into their lease for the Workforce Development Center.  This option comes up in 2015.  If the City has not found a development partner by then, the City needs to step up and purchase the property to preserve it for appropriate future development in the corridor.


Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Community Collaboration Center in the news

November 6, 2012

The Virginian pilot printed an article and an opinion piece about the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s new Community Collaboration Center recently opened at the Workforce Development Center in Wards Corner.

Michelle Washington wrote an opinion piece titled Working together at Wards Corner.

Placing the office in Wards Corner between the redevelopment under way at the intersection of Granby Street and Little Creek Road and the continued crime problems in Denby Park makes sense. It increases the likelihood of continued change for good. [Commonwealth’s Attorney Greg] Underwood called it “complementing the transition.”

The Pilot also printed an article titled Norfolk center aims to connect victims with legal help.

Norfolk Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Linda Bryant said that’s exactly what the Community Collaboration Center is designed for. The proximity to neighborhoods in Wards Corner will allow more visitors who are reluctant or unable to travel downtown, she said.


Satellite Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office to open at Wards Corner

October 25, 2012

The Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office is opening a Community Collaboration Center (CCC) in the Workforce Development Center at Wards Corner.

The CCC supports the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office and the City by having a small group of prosecutors evaluate and integrate specialized resources and programs into the daily prosecution of cases.  The prosecutors are responsible for representing the Commonwealth in Norfolk Circuit Court’s Drug Court, Mental Health Court, and Offender Re-Entry Court programs.  In addition, the CCC follows the guidelines of the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys (APA, http://www.apainc.org) for community prosecution – a philosophy that encourages collaboration between prosecutors, criminal justice partners, and the community to develop safer neighborhoods and enhance the quality of life of citizens.

Examples of  CCC work:

  • Lethality Assessment Protocol – A risk assessment tool utilized by the Norfolk Police Department when officers respond to domestic violence situations.  LAP helps increase victim safety, reduce the risk of lethality, increase aggressor accountability, and provide victims with immediate connections to resources like shelters.
  • Virginia Rules – An educational program we implemented in Norfolk Public Schools to help students understand the importance of making good decisions and the consequences of making poor decisions.  This is done through a series of lesson plans on a variety of topics developed by the Virginia Attorney General’s Office.  Topics include gang awareness, dating violence, and internet safety.

Linda Bryant is a Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney and the Director of the CCC.  With 15+ years of prosecutorial experience here in Norfolk, she has the knowledge base and perspective to carry out the work of the CCC.  Greg Underwood, Commonwealth’s Attorney, firmly believes the CCC is an important extension of the Office – enabling his office to remain deeply committed to their duty of criminal prosecution while fully recognizing the importance of crime prevention initiatives in Norfolk.  Physically being located outside of downtown in a satellite office of sorts will increase our accessibility to citizens with public safety/criminal justice needs.  Another connectivity goal of the CCC is to recognize citizens may not need our assistance, but that we can facilitate contact with the correct department/agency.

A grand opening is scheduled for Thursday, 11/1, from 4pm-5pm at the Norfolk Workforce Development Center (NWDC).  The program, which will include the ribbon cutting, will be brief but meaningful and will be followed by a simple reception.  They are expecting at least 100 people; Mayor Paul Fraim, City Manager Marcus Jones, and Norfolk Sheriff Bob McCabe have confirmed they’ll be attending.  Civic league members should feel free to attend.


Councilman Protogyrou’s Budget Requests

April 7, 2012
Councilman Andy Protogyrou

Councilman Andy Protogyrou

Ward 1 Councilman, Andrew Protogyrou, wrote a memo to City Manager, Marcus Jones, requesting specific funding and budget requests for the upcoming budget.  The original memo was dated April 5, 2012 and an addendum was done on April 6, 2012.  The content is printed below:

Marcus,

You had asked me for any budget issues regarding Ward One in the City of Norfolk. Though I have informally discussed some or all of these items with you in the past, I believe it appropriate to present my requests in writing for your benefit. I have the following requests:

1.  Co-occurring Drug and Mental Health Court: I have discussed with Chief Judge Junius Fulton of the Norfolk Circuit Court issues of the Mental Health Court and Drug Court. The Drug Court is run by Judge Fulton and the Mental Health Court is run by Judge Charles Poston. When an individual  has a mental health problem it is handled in the one court; if the person has a drug problem, it is handled in the other. However, many people are coming before the courts with two problems (especially veterans). An example would be a veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) who commits a crime. Individuals with PTSD abuse narcotics and/or alcohol as an unauthorized self medication therapy. When an individual has both diagnoses, he does not qualify for either court and falls within “a donut hole.”

Judge Fulton has recommended a combination of the two courts. He would handle twenty-five therapeutic places. Currently, it appears the fifty slots of the drug court and the twenty-five of the mental health court are full but there is a need to fill the hole. In this manner, a separate co-occurring track for veterans and others who may suffer from PTSD, depression, drug and alcohol addictions and have committed crimes are therapeutically placed.

Two positions are needed for this co-occurring track. First would involve a CSB clinician.  The clinician, appears to be a new position (their staffing I am sure will be examined in the near future). Second is a probation officer for felony cases that would result in the twenty-five individuals being supervised in the co-occurring track. It appears that a probation officer costs approximately $75,000 and currently one functions through an MOU between the City and Drug Court.

Space is needed. There is space currently available at $12.50 per sq. ft. on a five year lease of 2,850 sq. ft. This space is owned by the Decker family and next to Probation and Parole. It allows for a group meeting area, a lobby and offices.

Further, the Mental Health Court has asked for $15,000 in funds to afford it the opportunity to do a five-year evaluation to validate the program as vehicle for Federal grants. This has been authorized under the previous manager and at this point is now due to be able to keep the court receiving funds.

2.   Mason Creek: Specifically with regard to Ward One, there has been discussion of dredging Mason Creek. I know this has come up in the past but I believe dredging could fall within flood abatement issues and may be brought to the Government’s attention when it comes to bidding of the pumping station to rectify Mason Creek flooding. I believed past budgets have included dredging as a line item.

3.  4th View Interchange: This interchange at W. Ocean View Avenue continues to be a problem for the residents. I would like a review of how the interchange has become such a problem in its present state and what solutions to the current condition exist.

4.  Underground utility work at Wards Corner: Considering the future development and improvement in the area, please budget underground utility work at the Little Creek/Granby intersection.

5.  Denby Park Acquisition: Please continue apartment purchases in this area. Though not Ward 1, the eradication of blight effects the entire city. It was only after our collective political will and your acceptance, that acquisition is the solution to the problem, the initial purchases occurred. It was not happenstance that development in Wards Corner followed because of our purchases. It actually spurred it.

Lastly, not involving issues of budget, I would again ask that I receive a report on the Glennwood Park Civic League building on Woodview Avenue and whether the architect has had an opportunity to meet with the families in that area.
Again, I would like a courthouse meeting to discuss the current situation and setup of the bar library, bar association offices and restaurant that is on the first floor.

ADDENDA TO BUDGET REQUESTS OF APRIL 5, 2012

1.  Police/Fire Memorial:  The city must allocate funds for a joint police/fire memorial to be placed on the civic plaza near City Hall and the new courthouse. A new memorial should incorporate the current bell. I have met with the Public Arts Commission and Ann O’Dell of your office and it is believed that such a memorial should come from private donations and the city. Those funds should be considered separate from the Public Arts Commission; however, we can seek their assistance in bringing a work of art to fruition.

2.  Workforce Development Center Property: Please place the acquisition of this property in the appropriate CIP budget. Price may be derived from the lease that is set to expire in 2015.

3.  No-kill Policy: The city must budget for a 90% or better save rate for animals at the Norfolk Animal Care Center. To meet this budgetary requirement ordinances involving TNR Program (Trap, Neuter, Return) must be implemented. In 2010 Norfolk ACC had a save rate of dogs and cats of 54.46%. This was 20% less than the city of Portsmouth and 40% less than the city of Charlottesville’s SPCA. Portsmouth currently has a no-kill policy. The city must adjust its budget to meet same. Anything less is unacceptable.

The original PDF documents:

COUNCIL.REQUEST.4.5.12

COUNCIL.REQUEST.4.6.12


Reminder: PlaNorfolk 2030 meeting this Thursday at 6pm in Wards Corner

October 31, 2011
Draft Future Land Use Map

Draft Future Land Use Map

This is a reminder that you should come out Thursday at 6pm at the Workforce Development Center for a community meeting to review and discuss the proposed General Plan.  The plan does include the recommendations of the Wards Corner Comprehensive Plan and will provide a Vision for the Wards Corner Area for many years to come.

The Workforce Development Center is located at 201 E. Little Creek Road, next to Kroger.

Join us to discuss and critique the plan.  Your comments and suggestions will be included in considerations for the final Plan.

The draft chapters and the draft land use map can be found here.

The flyer advertising the various plaNorfolk 2030 community meetings is here.


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